DURHAM, N.C. – Broadening its commitment to transforming health care in North Carolina, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is investing in a new entity that will support independent physicians and help them strengthen their practices. Established as a joint venture, the new entity will provide services to enable physicians to focus more on high-quality, cost-effective patient care while also offering practices the ability to grow more sustainably as value-based care expands.
Developed in collaboration with Deerfield Management Company, a health care investment firm with deep experience strengthening physician practices, the joint venture is the next phase of Blue Cross NC’s ongoing collaboration with providers to make health care better, simpler and more affordable. The venture will leverage Deerfield’s research and operational capabilities, such as the Deerfield Institute and its External Operations Team, and its extensive experience investing across all sectors of health care at every stage of development – including key investments and relationships in North Carolina.
The venture is an innovative and advanced phase of Blue Cross NC’s ongoing work to support independent physician practices and help them succeed in the move to value-based care. It builds on Blue Cross NC achievements in value-based care, including the landmark Blue Premier program, one of the most rapid and comprehensive shifts to value-based care by any health plan.
“Independent physicians in North Carolina have an especially difficult burden when it comes to managing their practices without the resources and scale that come with being part of a larger organization,” said Dr. Tunde Sotunde, Blue Cross NC president and CEO. “We want to empower independent physicians – especially primary care – by offering a new level of support to help them lead their practices in a time of great change in health care. This new organization will fill a void for practices that are independently owned and will help them thrive.”
“We are excited to join forces with Blue Cross NC, a national leader in the transition to value-based care, in our shared vision to create an organization that supports and strengthens independent providers,” said Deerfield Partner Adam Grossman. “This joint venture aims to improve access to high-quality primary care while ultimately reinforcing the importance of the provider-patient relationship.”
The new venture will:
• Provide infrastructure and support services to reduce administrative burdens and alleviate physician burnout
• Equip physicians with integrated technology solutions to monitor, manage and coordinate patient care effectively
• Share data and insights alongside value-added services to identify and address opportunities to improve care
• Offer flexible options to help physicians structure the management and ownership of their practices
“Offering new resources to independent physician practices is the ideal next step in our collaborations with health care providers to improve quality and reduce costs for our members and for all North Carolinians,” said Dr. Von Nguyen, senior vice president and chief medical officer at Blue Cross NC. “Independent physicians typically have hundreds, if not thousands, of patients to care for, and they have a business to run. If we provide additional support to help them meet these demands, we can have a positive impact on health outcomes while doing more to address rising health care costs.”
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is committed to making health care better, simpler, and more affordable. We have been driving better health in North Carolina since 1933, working to tackle our communities’ greatest health challenges. Blue Cross NC serves its customers and communities of more than 3.8 million members, including approximately 1.1 million on behalf of other Blue Plans. Blue Cross NC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at www.bluecrossnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.
About Deerfield Management
Deerfield is an investment management firm committed to advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy. For more information, please visit www.deerfield.com.